Laws passed over many decades, beginning in the 1830s, by state and federal governments, forbidding the employment of children and young teenagers, except at certain carefully specified jobs. Child labor was regularly condemned in the nineteenth century by reformers and authors (see David Copperfield and Oliver Twist), but many businesses insisted that the Constitution protected their liberty to hire workers of any age. In several cases in the early twentieth century, the Supreme Court agreed, declaring federal child labor laws unconstitutional. Eventually, in the late 1930s, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act was upheld by the Court. This law greatly restricts the employment of children under eighteen in manufacturing jobs.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
How to use child labor laws in a sentence
The problem: pesky state child labor laws requiring that minors work a maximum eight hours a day when school is not in session.Too Close for Comfort: ‘Couples Therapy’ for Courtney Stodden on VH1 | Maria Elena Fernandez | October 1, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
This is where child labor laws and child-protective services come in.
The national government has encouraged the states in the enactment of stringent child-labor laws.Farm Boys and Girls | William Arch McKeever
The passage and enforcement of rigid anti-child-labor laws which will cover every portion of this country.Socialism As It Is | William English Walling
Although child labor laws have been enacted in many states and by the United States Congress, they are comparatively recent.New Homes for Old | Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge
Many parents make their children work where the compulsory education law and the child labor laws are not enforced.One Irish Summer | William Eleroy Curtis